Constructing A Better Tomorrow For SUNY New Paltz

Cartoon by Derek Zimmermann
Cartoon by Derek Zimmermann

It doesn’t take much to notice the multitude of construction projects currently underway on campus, and it’s just as easy to be annoyed rather than enthusiastic about these efforts. We must realize the academic, aesthetic and individual potentials held in these improvements and expansions. It’s imperative to acknowledge that administrators are working to improve and expand upon the areas and resources we most frequently access as students. In the end, we are the ones who are to benefit most; updated means allow for increased abilities.

Are these projects inconvenient? Yes, to some degree. But we should be looking at the projects for the future assets they hold, rather than the temporary “turmoil” they impose upon our daily routines. Although it occasionally requires taking an out-of-the-way route to class and doesn’t create the most aesthetically pleasing environment, the projects’ interference is minimal, and we as an E-board commend administrators and the facilities department on their implementation for the future benefits we will reap.

Rather than taking matters into its own hands, administration is working with us in making decisions that ultimately affect students most, and willing to hear what we believe to be most necessary in improving our education and time spent at SUNY New Paltz. For example, a survey was sent out last semester to receive responses as to what we are looking for in the future of the Sojourner Truth Library (STL), and similar means were used for the new science building, polling science and engineering students.

Popular opinion alluded to the increasing desire for STL admittance between 2 to 4 a.m. As a result, different entry ways are being discussed as a means of allowing access to specific areas during this interval. We hope that this method will be maintained for future projects.

Administrators are actually listening to the proposals being made by students, and creating projects in accord with their suggestions. We as a student body should be using this to our advantage, informing the administration of our needs and encouraging the use of similar surveys.

Director of Facilities Design and Construction John McEnrue has said in the past that the school is in the midst of the biggest construction boom in the past 40 years; clearly, needed universal improvements are being made. The addition of the Atrium is now the biggest campus-managed construction project in New Paltz history, and with the pending re-opening of Old Main, education classes will no longer need to be held in the shed know as the South Classroom Building. Also, the addition of a new science building would introduce a fresh set of labs and classrooms for students to further pursue their field of choice, with a variety of updated equipment. A list of all active projects can be found on the construction page of the school’s website.

Sure, the Town of New Paltz has a distinct demeanor, leaving a loss of authenticity on campus to come into question, but times are changing and ignorance to the fact only puts a pause on the full academic potential here.

All in all, administration is not out to eternally annoy us with its incessant slew of construction projects, but rather cooperate by keeping the education and opinions of students in mind. This campus is something we share as a community, and it should be a bright future for all if we keep this collaboration going. As with everything the construction is temporary, so just remember that the eye sores will soon be gone.